It is above ground. I just let them swim around for a while and they come to me when they want held for a small break or want out. Then I lift them over the side. I`m ordering steps they can get up on there own.Pretty dogs. Is your pool a above ground pool? I have put my two in the pool but the older one goes wide eyed and the other one is all right but I make sure I get to the other side before she does because I don't want her to scratch the lining to the pool.